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You’re not alone if you find yourself daydreaming about a certain food — there are both physiological and psychological reasons why cravings pop up. When you’re trying to lose weight it can feel like giving into cravings with a cheat day or putting certain foods “off limits” is the solution. You might not have realized it or thought about it, but when you experience food cravings, it could well be your body trying to tell you something – that it needs something that you might not be giving it. You need to make sure that in your weight loss efforts, you are giving your body all the nutrition it needs.

The key is deciding what you’ll distract yourself with before the cravings come on. This strategy of dealing with the symptom works, but it’s not as effective as getting to the root cause. Best: Decode and prevent the craving.

When cravings did occur, the post-bariatric patients were less likely to give into the craving than were individuals who did not undergo weight loss surgery. Why the change? Cravings are sharpest for items we think about and know.

This is usually the items that we are surrounded with the most. In a lot of ways cravings are subject to availability. A common effect of grief on one’s physical health is a loss of appetite and, in turn, significant (or at least mild) weight loss. This change in appetite often comes with other changes in normal functioning; grieving individuals also typically experience an inability to focus, as well as a lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities. Topping out at 350 pounds (lbs), mom-of-three Lisa Fantocone says her persistent headaches, joint pain, acid reflux, and fatigue weren’t enough to compel her to lose weight.

Cravings After Weight Loss Surgery and What To Do About Them December 7, 2016 As someone who has recently changed their lifestyle, a bariatric patient will undoubtedly face the very real dilemma of fighting food cravings. Trick your brain into losing weight with these easy weight loss tricks. Researchers say the key lies in thinking about eating the food versus merely each time you give in to a craving, you. Food cravings are practically universal-research shows virtually all women ages 18 to 35 have had a craving in the past year.

But, as anyone who has tried to just eat one cookie knows, these urges can wreak havoc on your efforts to lose-or even maintain-weight. (Your sudden need for snacking could be your body trying to tell you something. In a study published in the October 2013 issue of Appetite, participants reported the frequency and intensity of their cravings during a weight-loss program. At the beginning, they reported desiring sweets, carbs and fast foods.

However, as participants lost weight, their hunger levels decreased, along with their cravings.

List of related literature:

In addition, the reward, pleasure, and emotional connections to supernormally stimulating, nutrient-poor foods will take a lot longer to overcome, so the cravings can be intense.

“It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways” by Dallas Hartwig, Melissa Hartwig
from It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways
by Dallas Hartwig, Melissa Hartwig
Victory Belt Publishing, 2014

It’s the very use of the willpower method that makes us think we can’t escape our craving.

“Stop Smoking Now” by Allen Carr
from Stop Smoking Now
by Allen Carr
Arcturus, 2009

It is about stopping cravings and eating healthily.

“Stop Counting Calories and Start Losing Weight: The Harcombe Diet” by Zoe Harcombe
from Stop Counting Calories and Start Losing Weight: The Harcombe Diet
by Zoe Harcombe
Columbus Publishing Ltd,

It helps us stay steady in the face of food cravings—which are often only surface cravings, in a way.

“Medical Medium Cleanse to Heal: Healing Plans for Sufferers of Anxiety, Depression, Acne, Eczema, Lyme, Gut Problems, Brain Fog, Weight Issues, Migraines, Bloating, Vertigo, Psoriasis, Cys” by Anthony William
from Medical Medium Cleanse to Heal: Healing Plans for Sufferers of Anxiety, Depression, Acne, Eczema, Lyme, Gut Problems, Brain Fog, Weight Issues, Migraines, Bloating, Vertigo, Psoriasis, Cys
by Anthony William
Hay House, 2020

As the body continues to have strong cravings for chocolate, soda, juices, sugar or other refined carbohydrates, there is no hope because sooner or later, they will succumb to these cravings and lose control.

“Problem-Free Diabetes: Controlling Diabetes With the Help of The Power of Your Metabolism” by Frank Suarez
from Problem-Free Diabetes: Controlling Diabetes With the Help of The Power of Your Metabolism
by Frank Suarez
Frank Suarez, 2016

This strategy is smart because it strengthens you even when you “lose” and indulge in a craving.

“Mini Habits for Weight Loss: Stop Dieting. Form New Habits. Change Your Lifestyle Without Suffering.” by Stephen Guise
from Mini Habits for Weight Loss: Stop Dieting. Form New Habits. Change Your Lifestyle Without Suffering.
by Stephen Guise
Selective Entertainment, LLC, 2016

But exerting your willpower is likely to help you feel better than giving in to your cravings.

“The Diet Trap Solution: Train Your Brain to Lose Weight and Keep It Off for Good” by Judith S. Beck, Deborah Beck Busis
from The Diet Trap Solution: Train Your Brain to Lose Weight and Keep It Off for Good
by Judith S. Beck, Deborah Beck Busis
Hay House, 2015

I should have more willpower, it’s better and healthier to listen to those cravings, which are a form of intuition.

“For Women Only!: Your Guide to Health Empowerment” by Gary Null, Barbara Seaman
from For Women Only!: Your Guide to Health Empowerment
by Gary Null, Barbara Seaman
Seven Stories Press, 2001

The cessation of craving is, then, the goal of the

“The Foundations of Buddhism” by Rupert Gethin
from The Foundations of Buddhism
by Rupert Gethin
OUP Oxford, 1998

The same sort of reasoning applies to the willpower concept whenever it is used to “explain” why people do or do not stay on their diets or abolish bad habits.

“Handbook of Adult Resilience” by John W. Reich, Alex J. Zautra, John Stuart Hall
from Handbook of Adult Resilience
by John W. Reich, Alex J. Zautra, John Stuart Hall
Guilford Publications, 2010

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

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  • https://mmini.me/i 5 seconds “hack” that kills food cravings and melts 62ibs of raw fat. this is a product you must try out this works out with proves and many testimonies.
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  • I brush my teeth or floss. Calling a friend and just getting distracted helps. Sitting down and sewing also works…I won’t risk getting chocolate on my project. Chocolate is my go to sugar craving.

  • I craved Ice my whole pregnancy for my thirds child. Its funny that Iranians have myth, they say if you crave Ice when pregnant, you are having a boy. And I did have a boy. Probably have nothing to do with the gender of the baby, but ironic. ��

  • I used to crave chalk, I even licked walls and had like ten calcium tablets per day because they tasted like chalk. Found out I had severe anemia. The cravings went away when I got supplements and boosted my iron.

  • What if u crave nuts?
    I ve cravings for general nuts, specially peanut butter.
    I tried staying away from it.
    It isn’t helping. I have gained 4 kg from overeating nuts.Now I try to portion control it. A small pot of nuts 30-50g. Two tablespoon of peanut butter. Is this too much?

  • I tend to be generally low in magnesium. Huge chocolate addiction (but I make sure to eat high percentage of cacao in my chocolate). So funny though that I have been eating all the other recommended foods not knowing they carry high amounts of mag. So happy to find some extra alternatives. Thank you!

  • Similar to cravings did you know that aspartame breaks down into formaldehyde and phenylalanine in your gut. I mention this because that is Also what alcohol breaks down into in your gut:) long story shortened I overcame my addiction to alcohol by replacing it with diet soda and supplementing with sublingual B-6 complex and B-12 for repairing the damaged nervous system. The aspartame is also addictive as well since phenylalanine easily converts to the other pleasure associated chemicals in your brain like tryptophan etc. So it should be used as a weaning substitute and not a replacement. But you prolly already knew this 😉 love your video’s BTW

  • I am on the waiting list for the 10 pound challenge. I have multiple sclerosis and was just diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I ordered your book and I am praying that this is going to help.

  • I admire her efforts and that she possesses a medical degree but she looks as if all life and strength have been sucked out of her. She would have looked better if she a little bit of weight.

  • Thank you so much u are 100% correct.

    most of the time I crave chocolate it’s mainly when I’m down or sad and it’s just so comforting

  • I haven’t slept well since menopause about 15 years I’ve tried everything ambien, melatonin, relaxing music it’s really bad some night I even take cough syrup just to get to sleep but wake up feeling so groggy I’m not sure what else to do! Loved this video very interesting

  • I find this misleading because not all craving are based on deficiency. Sugar is addictive thus you crave it, sometimes your brain is after that dopamine and nothing more. I hope everyone is taking this with a grain of salt because if craving chocolate is now considered that you’re going through depression then we are in for a big problem! It’s sugar! Nothing more btw that includes fruits (if you eat in large quantities)

  • I crave chips/french fries. But i cant just eat one chip, i Will eat the whole bag. And even if I switch it up to pretzels or anything else, I need to eat a loooot to get satisfied. (I’m not obese or anything, just crave food ALL THE TIME). even when I’m full after meals I still crave something else ��

  • Hmm I dont crave soda, caffeinated drinks or ice, you can skip to 3:00.

    Sleep well. To fight craving sweets.
    Eat dates. I love date smoothies!!!

    French fries I do like. Don’t like almonds or nuts but I can do avocado. Hmmm thanks!

  • Thank you. This is such a great video. I’m trying to avoid sweets. But before every test, I always go buy chocolates. It makes me feel so relaxed. ��

  • what nonsense….if you’re craving a burger, have a goddamn burger!! this is basically perpetuating negative body image and diet culture.

  • I craved crushed ice. 2 to 3 huge cups a day sometimes. I loved the crunch and the taste! I was addicted. ��
    Went to get blood work done and had severe anemia. ��
    Once my levels went up I no longer craved ice. Not only did I not crave it but the taste and satisfaction wasn’t the same as when I had anemia.

  • Thank you for this video. I am currently on vacation and have been really disappointed in myself because my cravings for sugar have been outrageous. I feel I have a healthy relationship with food but I just try not to keep junk in the house, but this week I have gone nuts! But I realized watching your video why. I have not been getting good sleep each night. Everyone is staying up late and because I am in a different place I have been waking up multiple times a night. Now it all makes sense!

  • Love these short and sweet and informative videos! Yes, to changing your environment as a means to curbing your cravings so true!!! Thank you!!!

  • What could cheese cravings be a sign of? I want to cut dairy products but american cheese is the tough one for me. And im sure its one of the most unhealthy options in terms of cheese itself.

  • I’ve had the worst sugar cravings for the last couple months….
    I woke up with heaps of little pimples yesterday which I don’t get much… And my fiance pointed out to me well you do eat alot of sugar ie fruit…. I know fruit is good for you but I think it’s making me break out.
    Please help??? Do you think I’m lacking something. Xxxx
    But I get at least 9 hours of sleep a night.

  • I just caved into my sweet tooth craving(29 weeks pregnant)and ate a bag of powdered donuts. Now I feel so very guilty and just plain awful.

  • Hahaha I decide to watch this as I indulged in a craving: popcorn! Very informative and good information, thanks! I enjoyed the hot cocoa recipe and would enjoy a dedicated video to craving swaps recipes (eat this not that).

  • Omg the anemic thing is so true. I remember going to the store just to buy a cup of ice. And yes I did buy the ice because it was the good kind I could easily crunch on lol. My mom told me about eating ice means you could be anemic but I already knew I was. But it’s nice to know why I crave ice like that lol and yes I do have iron tablets but they are not easy on the tummy lol

  • I don’t necessarily crave sweets, but I feel like I need them whenever I have feelings-good or bad. I eat out of emotions all the time. I can’t handle feeling things. Maybe this isn’t a nutritional problem, though your suggestions might help me cut back.

  • 21st century problems. I find a slice of lemon with a slice of ginger in hot water does me good. Also I keep a kilo box of medjool dates at the office.

  • Boredom is definitely when I crave snacky food. I try to just stay busy crocheting so I don’t think about it. I also crave sweet after dinner. I try to ignore it or add some Ultima to my water. I did cave the other day and made the chocolate mousse from the cook book to go with dinner.

  • And milk has sugar. Is there sugar-free milk? I have never had any issues with digesting milk. Also love chocolate milk. That seems to have a calming effect on me. Ok, so i am updating this on 9/1/18 here. I have found a decent milk-alternative. It is nutmilk. Now IMO vanilla tastes the best, but that has as much or more sugar than milk. So I found something better… Protein nutmilk (vanilla). This only has 6g of sugar and it has 10g protein. So this takes the place of those protein drinks i used to buy (overpriced and overly-sugarized). Now this does not taste quite as good as vanilla almond or vanilla nutmilk, but it is good enough and lowers my sugar intake! It also has more calcium than milk.

  • I hope you liked these tips for helping to control/manage sugar cravings! Let me know your tips below, or any strategies you use to stay on track with a diet if you get cravings…

  • A lot of the cravings that my clients have are from causes such as learned associations (i.e. habit), emotional eating, food choices, food timing, and not getting enough sleep. The causes you mention are also interesting.

  • Mines from everybody around me In my home constantly snacking i haven’t cheated so far but dang if it’s not hard and yrs I’ve asked four no junk in the house and begged and pleaded but i get should everybody else suffer when I’m the one who decided too eat this way

  • I chew loads of gum, really does help:)
    when you said “if you dont have any gum….”
    i thought you were going to say “go and buy some” lol.
    my nan always used to say “everything in moderation”:)
    those smart bars are pretty good tbh, really tasty. great video dude. great tips

  • Y’all, my best tip for cravings: eat everything in sight! Haha jk get yourself some red juice that high in iron and take magnesium cuz you probably need it.

  • What I do is I watch chocolate ASMR’s and pretend I’m eating along and it kinda tricks my brain. For some people it’s worse doing this but actually, and surprisingly, it does work for me.

  • Dark chocolate almond milk is my weakness, especially when I’m on my period. I love its smooth, creamy texture and REAL chocolate in combination with the nutty, earthy taste of the almonds. It just doesn’t get much better than that!

  • I have this issue too, I thought I was the only one����‍♀️����but guess what none of those recommendations will works sad to say☝️��������

  • Thank you so much for the continuing great information. I continue to struggle with this sugar problem but each time I listen to you I get back to work!

  • This is actually pretty good information, cravings have always been my problem and to see its not only in my head is a relief.
    Your video are pretty cool keep up with the good work!

  • I already eat a meal size salad every lunch (been doing that for years). I have a single egg omelet with just a sprinkle of shredded cheese (going to work on eliminating the cheese) and 1/4 an avocado for breakfast, and dinner is either black beans and 1/4 an avocado, turnip greens and 1/4 an avocado, or a protein shake made with cashew milk and about 5 cherries and half an avocado. I’m talking about just avocado with a few spices (not guacamole). I don’t drink my calories (haven’t drank calories since I was in my teens). No sodas, no sweet teas, no fruit juice, no real milk, no fruru coffees. No snacking with the exception of a few grapes now and then in the evenings right after dinner to trick myself into thinking I’ve had dessert. I have also added exercise (walking and a bit if HIT.) I had just been walking for a few months but that hasn’t been cutting it. Been doing this for about 3 weeks. Haven’t lost a freaking ounce. I wasn’t expecting any miracles but a few ounces to a pound in three weeks would be nice.:( That’s why I’m here trying to find out what I’m doing wrong. I’m in my 40s. The good news is my cravings and hunger pains are gone. I love that so I’ll be sticking with it even if I don’t lose weight. I hate being a slave to food cravings. I’m 50 pounds overweight and would give my right arm to lose weight in a healthy way. Just taking off and keeping off 20 pounds would make me ecstatic. I haven’t seen the scales go down in about 6 years. Nothing works. I have had my thyroid tested and it’s always in normal range.

  • great thanks to you Becky for answering my question quickly. I will sure wacth that video…success with the rest of your videos

  • I crave meats and I was not a big meat eater before. Any tips on that? I tried to to go vegan for a while and it falls apart because of my cravings…

  • Cheese is my downfall. I just crave it. I haven’t gone off the plan but cheese, although not off the plan, makes me not lose. I have been stuck for quite some time. Just up and down that 1 lb. It helps to get your videos because it brings me back to reality. Thank you for being you!

  • I heard this thing about cleaning your teeth! it’s meant to be to do something with that your body signals to you that you’ve finished eating! I bought the Twining’s spiced apple with vanilla too! I haven’t tried it just yet but probably will tonight:) I love fibre ones, sometimes I get n iced bun from the waitrose bakery counterthey’re so yummy! I mean the ingredients aren’t the best but not that I would expect them to be but they still have 4 g of protein and I think 244 calories! or something similar to that! and I find it works well for my sweet cravings:) (most of the time reduced to 25p as well) great video:) I really like your background too!

  • This is my first challenge and it was coming off the Holidays and right before that a 15 day Hawaiian cruise. I cannot tell you how much sugar I consumed! I am also a cold turkey person, so when I started the Code Red Lifestyle I had headaches, brain fog, and just felt terrible. About 6 days later I realized I didn’t feel crappy anymore and was really feeling much better. So glad to get all that out of my system and am looking forward to being a healthier me. Thank you so much Cristy!

  • Hearing that you have had your own slips and struggle and have still found success in getting back on track is so helpful and motivating for me. I am about a week away from my 30 day challenge & I slipped up over the weekend.. but I am recommitting myself to this and the process of taking my health back and owning it! Thank you @cristy

  • my hardest thing is at  bedtime I can’t seem to control my sugar fix before bed, I tried the  mint thing and that didn’t work, through out the day I seem control my sugars much better.

  • Thank you, Cristy, for sharing that sugar cravings are something YOU sometimes still have to battle. Good idea on adding sodium, too.

  • Cravings
    1. Soda: check calcium levels. Add calcium foods or switch healthy caffeine (green tea, organic cold brew coffee, Zevia) beverages.
    2. Ice: can mean you are low in iron! If you are craving ice. Get blood test and check.
    3. Chocolate: deficient in magnesium and possible depression. Eat almonds.
    4. Sweets: lack of sleep! Short of 1 hr sleep indicated for cravings of sleep vs adequate sleep which led to cravings for lean protein. Eat a medjool datecan help combat sugar cravings. Make healthy hot choc (Four sigmatic).
    5. French fries/ salty fatty food: need more omega fats!! Replace with healthy fats!!! Healthy form of salted foods like salted popcorn or almonds. Sea salt on fresh veggies or cucumbers. Kale or gluten free chips.
    Tip: Change scenery to distract from craving.

  • Cherry Pepsi Max all the way though I do limit this given the artificial sweeteners (chemicals) in there.
    Just out of interest would you now consider fruit or is natural sugar also off the list?

  • I started drinking keyto chocolate collagen and I mix it with hot water I feel like I’m having a hot chocolate and of coarse my shot of heavy whip cream made with monk fruit! Yum!